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Press release/statement

Demos President on Importance of Diversity in Higher Education

In response to yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling, which upheld a Michigan state law banning the consideration of race or ethnicity as a factor among state college admissions, Demos President Heather McGhee issued the following statement:

The country should be recommitting to diversity and inclusion, not retreating.

"America is the world's boldest experiment in a multi-racial democracy, and yet we are still working to fulfill the ideal of an equal say and an equal chance for all. A crucial part of that unfinished work is ensuring that our institutions reflect America's great diversity. In Grutter v. Bollinger, the Supreme Court previously affirmed that the government has a compelling interest in a diverse student body. As we argued in the amicus brief we submitted last year for Fisher v. University of Texas, diversity better prepares students as professionals to meet the challenges of a multi-cultural workforce in an increasingly global economy.

"Today’s college-age students are part of a generation more diverse than any previous generation this country has seen. To best prepare our youth to succeed in the workplace and as citizens and leaders, it is imperative that institutions of higher education create a thriving and diverse learning environment to cultivate and nurture their academic pursuits.

"As Justice Sonia Sotomayor accurately stated in her dissenting opinion, ‘This refusal to accept the stark reality that race matters is regrettable. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to speak openly and candidly on the subject of race, and to apply the Constitution with eyes open to the unfortunate effects of centuries of racial discrimination.’

"We are on the verge of creating a two-tier system of higher education in America again. The country should be recommitting to diversity and inclusion, not retreating."